It's been an interesting month for Steven Jackson.
After spending the bulk of 2015 as an unsigned free agent, Jackson signed on with the New England Patriots for their last two games of the regular season. So far, he's rushed for 50 yards on 21 carries.
As the Patriots brace for Saturday's divisional-round matchup with Kansas City, Jackson is slated to enter as their top power back. He also gets the opportunity to play in just his third-career playoff game, and first since his rookie season in 2004 (coincidentally, the last playoff appearance for the newly-relocated St. Louis Rams).
Speaking to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the 32-year-old Jackson discussed his excitement for the game, how hectic things have been for him and his comfort with the offense in such a high-stakes game.
“The last 2-3 weeks have been a whirlwind, but I think getting ready for this week and realizing the opportunity ahead of me is one I want to be well-prepared for and take advantage of ... I understood this is probably the last opportunity that I will have a significant chance of winning the Super Bowl; now we’re talking about why I decided to take [up] Coach on the offer,” he said.
“I know I don’t have the most playoff experience around here, but the game of football comes down to being able to execute, do your job, and being able to do that [starts] with a great week of preparation. I’ve always prided myself on that. The stakes are high, if you don’t win you go home, but at the end of the day you have to be able to play relaxed and loose, and that’s what I’m going in thinking Saturday.”
Jackson's return out of the woodwork has been one of the Pats' more captivating storylines of the past several weeks, and the former first-round pick will get the chance to end his career on the highest of notes. It certainly adds a dash of sentimentality to this year's Patriots run.
Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61